Thursday, January 15, 2015

My first deep water run

I slept so good last night! I really needed that. It's very rare that I sleep through the night without waking up five or six times. I had a bunch of weird dreams, and when I woke up this morning, I was totally confused for a minute.

I was kind of excited to use the AquaJogger for the first time today. It feels like I haven't run in MONTHS, but it's actually only been 11 days. I keep feeling this pit in my stomach, thinking that I'll never get to run again. I've been resting as much as possible, and have probably only gotten 4,000 steps per day max. It's like I can feel my muscles wasting away (dramatic, yes). I can't do squats or lunges or anything like that, because it bothers my ankle, so I haven't done any cross-training since I've been injured. But I'm really determined to get my ankle back to normal before I start marathon training.

And of course, I miss earning activity PointsPlus! I was used to earning about 50 PP per week from exercise, and cutting back on that much food is hard. So the deep water running will help me to earn some of those points.

Anyway, I've been reading so many great things about deep water running--people have used that to continue training for important races, and have done well (even setting PRs) in their races. So, I am hopeful that if I use this as a training method, I won't have such a hard time going back to running on ground when my ankle is better. I'm still going to ease back into running; I just hope the transition is easier. Here is the backstory to the AquaJogger:


After I got the kids off to school, I got ready to head to the pool. One of the reasons I really dislike swimming is because of all the stuff it requires--bathing suit, towel, change of clothes, hair brush (I always forget this, and then my hair is in a huge knot), lock for the locker, etc. But maybe if I start packing it the night before, I won't feel so rushed in the mornings.

I had to renew my membership at the rec center, so I'm good for another year--someone please hold me accountable to getting my money's worth this year! ;) I changed into my bathing suit, and brought the AquaJogger belt out to the pool with me. I was really nervous to give it a try, because I thought that the lifeguard would surely know if my form was all wrong or something. I had tried doing deep water running without a belt before, just for the heck of it, but it was really difficult to stay upright. So I hoped the belt would help.

There were a few people in the swimming lanes, so I was glad I wasn't the only one in the pool! I put on the belt and quickly got into the deep end of the pool. I just tried to focus on my form and then started "running" in the water. I read the workout guide book that came with the belt, and it gave some tips on form, so I was trying to make sure that I was doing that correctly.



Surprisingly, it actually felt pretty natural! It was much easier than I imagined it to be. It was easier to focus on my arms, and as long as I was doing the arm motion correctly, my legs did a natural running motion. It felt kind of like running in place, only I wasn't touching the ground. I wasn't really expecting to move forward, but as I ran in place, my body just kept inching forward.

The thing I was most surprised about was that the time flew by! I discovered that it took roughly one minute to cross the deep end of the pool; so I just kept "running" across, and then turning around and running back. I was planning to do 30 minutes, but I liked it enough that I wanted to go longer.

The hard part was seeing the people above me run on the track. I saw my friend Alicia running, so I waved to her. From the pool, it's very easy to see one end of the track, so I kept watching the people run by as I ran in place. I wanted to be up there running so badly! But I really did enjoy the deep water running.

It was a REALLY good workout, too. Occasionally, I would run hard for a minute or two, and then slow down (intervals, basically), and my legs felt so tired after the hard intervals. Another bonus to running in the water is that I wasn't dripping with sweat--the water kept me cool, which was nice. I had pulled my hair into a high bun, so it didn't even get wet (yay) and I just had to rinse off when I was done (I had taken a shower when I woke up, and I really didn't want to have to re-shower). So even though it was a little bit of a hassle to pack a bag to go to the pool, it made up for it in that I didn't have to come home and shower (again).

I was really surprised to see that Weight Watchers actually lists "water jogging" as an exercise. I had done 45 minutes, which gave me 8 PointsPlus! That's the same as if I had run outside. I don't know if I really feel I deserve that many, so I may try to just eat half of them, but it's nice to see those activity points.

I'm going to order a belt for Jerry, too. I think it would be fun for us to go "run" together, and would certainly help the time pass. Even after I'm able to run on ground again, I think the deep water running would be good cross training. Next time I go, I'll bring the kids' underwater cameras and see if they can get a video of it.

I have to say, I think using this AquaJogger belt would be awesome exercise for ANYONE--not just runners. The book shows different exercises you can do, but for anyone looking to exercise, it's a good workout without any impact. By wearing the belt, you are basically suspended in the water up to your neck. The floatation part is on the small of your back, so it doesn't impede movement at all (like a lifejacket would). I only used it for 45 minutes today, but already, I highly recommend it!

Anyway, the first day of deep water running was a big success! I'm actually really looking forward to going again. I leave for Phoenix tomorrow morning and don't come home until Monday, so I'm not sure how much I'll be posting over the weekend, if at all. Hope you all have a great weekend!

21 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting your first experience with the Aqua Jogger. I purchased a similar belt (different brand) last year but only used it a couple of times because it wasn't comfortable. I wanted it to stay around my waist, but unless I tightened it to an uncomfortable point the belt ended up to my chest. I couldn't stand to wear it either way. Where does your belt sit when you're in the pool?

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  2. I'm so impressed that the time flew by when you were aqua jogging - the one time I tried it, I got so bored! I wanted to like it because I was injured for a lot of last year and like you mentioned, I've heard it work great for other people. It doesn't help though that the pool at my gym is always packed. I almost always have to share a lane and I would hate to be jogging very slowly up and down the pool as people literally swam laps around me.

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  3. I read about aqua running in another blog I read last year. Other than her loving it I remember her talking about her feet getting torn up. They were so soft from running in water she got tons of blisters when she ran outside again. But I think she went from pool running straight to a marathon-no outside running ahead of time. Just wantec to give you a heads up. Glad you found a way to "run" again! :)

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  4. Janae, Hungry Runner Girl, blogged about pool running:)

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  5. aqua running will become more boring probably as you try it more. :) But it's nice that you have something while your injured to do! I can't use my arms when i aqua jog i have a bit of tennis elbow and it bothers my elbow after a while the resistance in the water. I also don't think you should use the same ww points for running as aqua jogging. I can't imagine it burning the same amount of calories. I actually find swimming laps for me more of a workout than aqua jogging.

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    1. You actually burn a lot of calories Aqua jogging bc you're using you're whole body and gave thevresustabce if running. I've used the my fitness pal app and others to compare and you do burn lots of calories, it's harder worker out than it looks. And I swim laps too but this gives my legs a better without.

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    2. Workout not without***darm autocorrect

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  6. Awesome! I'm so glad the belt worked out for you. Have a great weekend! I'm originally from Prescott, Arizona and my husband attended ASU in Tempe, so you're visiting old stomping grounds for us. ;-) Enjoy the nice "Winter" weather.

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  7. Yay! I'm so glad the belt worked for you! Thanks for the great write up about it too - very informative! :)

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  8. Would you mind telling me the cost of the jogger? I love being in the water and I really think this might help my wonky knee! I need some new exercises in my life :)

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    1. I linked to it above, but I believe it was about $50.

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  9. I'm ready to give water running a try. I'm sure it would be easier on my knees than walking on dry ground. I just have to get over my anxiety of wearing a swimming suit in public. So much excess skin--So little coverage! 😱

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  10. Ok a couple things:
    1 - put your hair in a braid that way if it gets wet just let it dry and take out the braid and you will have waves and no knots
    2 - really why do you feel rushed? You have ALL DAY while your kids are in school. No need to feel rushed to get out the door and get there.
    3 - Maybe to keep it interesting alternate doing the waterjogging Mon-Wed-Fri and regular lap swimming Tues-Thurs.

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    1. I actually don't have "all day". The rec center closes from 10-5, so I have from 8:30 until 10 to do my workout, change clothes, and leave.
      Doing the high bun worked out really well! I love that I didn't have to get my hair wet.

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    2. I also do high bun for it, and it rarely gets wet! Occasionally there will be a swimmer in the lane next to me who splashes, but otherwise it's my hair preference for pool too.

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  11. I had stress fractures a few years back and tried water jogging for the first time... Part of my physical therapy was to do it three times a week... At first, I hated it but I have grown to LOVE IT! Sure... you look a little dorky, but you can get a really good workout out of it if you put in the effort. It's also fun to mix it up a bit by doing "intervals." Also, my fiancé got me a waterproof iPod shuffle (http://www.underwateraudio.com/waterproof-ipod-shuffle/) which helped make it a little more fun. I'm glad you liked it!

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    1. I did the same rehab when I had a stress fracture. When I returned to running I was able to jump right back in to my training without skipping a beat. It's a fun workout!!

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  12. Katie

    Super..so gad you liked it! Thanks for the update....it's now on my birthday wish
    list : )

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  13. I have been doing water jogging since I injured both my feet and haven't ran since last July. I ordered the Aquajogger and HATED IT. It was so uncomfortable. I am glad it worked for you but for people who don't like it, I find it much more efficient to just use 2 water aerobic bigger weights to keep me afloat and/or a water noodle.

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